A film that caused quite a stir when it was originally released in the UK is getting a revival of sorts, when the Edinburgh International Film Festival will host a special screening of it
1 Day is a 2009 British musical film about gang life in inner city Birmingham. The story follows a character named Flash as he attempts to get £100,000 to his boss Angel in less than 24 hours, or be killed.
The full synop:
Flash (Dylan Duffus) wakes up to a phone call from Angel (Yohance Watson) announcing that he’s being released and wants the £500,000 he’s left Flash for safekeeping. Flash is £100,000 short of the full amount and is pushed for time, Flash is forced to strike a deal with Evil (Duncan Tobias) who more than lives up to his name. 1 Day follows flash’s race against the clock as he’s pursued by a rival gang (The Zampa Boys), as Flash is part of OSC (Old Street Crew). He is also pressured by his three irate babymothers and his granny.
Written and directed by Penny Woolcock, who said that the film was inspired by a real-life incident she experienced, 1 Day didn’t sit well with some in the community, including the police department, whose Assistant Chief Constable accused the filmmaker of “glamorizing violence,” stating, “My starting-point is that it’s fiction, but I think you do see some glamorisation of gang-related behaviour. The main character walks off with £100,000, leaving behind a carnage of dead bodies. It’s like a shoot-out at the OK Corral.”
And with that, certain cinemas in Birmingham decided not to show the film. Only one major multiplex, which originally declined to show 1 Day, later changed their minds after a “consultation process.” And two smaller independent cinemas in the city also agreed to show it.
In her defense, director Woolcock said she spent many months in Birmingham researching for the film, and that many of the events depicted in the film were a combination of real-life stories she had was told while interviewing gang members for the film.
“The film is trying to show that these people have ordinary lives, and trying to understand it from their point of view. It does not have a glamorising message, but it does show how attractive this world can be. In one scene, a character says ‘everybody knows that crime does pay’. But there are many scenes showing the consequences of this life. It’s an insight into this world. I think people should see the film, because they will understand what’s going on in these young men’s minds.”
By the way, the film received £65,000 in funding by the UK Film Council, who obviously didn’t have any issues with the film stating, via a spokeswoman, “We would not see it as glamorising violence.”
1 Day (starring a cast of non-pro actors) wasn’t released anywhere outside the UK, from the research I did (other than a few film festivals); although, for those of you with those region-free DVD players, it can be purchased on Amazon.com. You can probably find piece of it, if not all of it, on the web.
It’ll screen at teh Edinburgh International Film Festival in a special screening on June 25. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
Any of our UK readers watch the film? Your reactions to it, as well as the kerfuffle that followed?
In the video clip below, director Woolcock discusses her motivations for making the film; it also contains clips from the film, so you can get an idea of what it’s like: